Samhain 2017 – a blessing

Wishing all of you a sacred Samhain. 

May you be blessed with the power to leave behind all that holds you back,
May you move into this new year emboldened,
May you always return to the Truth that lies within.

(picture copyright: Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk, 2017)

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Quote on light and the darkness by Emma Restall Orr

I came across this quote last night and thought it would be appropriate to share in time for Samhain. As we learn to embrace the nights drawing in we learn also to embrace the dark within, the cycle of decay associated with the coming of winter, and the things we have to release or let go of as cycles in our own lives come to their conclusion.

Access to light, day and night, is now considered by most a human right.
To the Pagan, that is ludicrous. More consciously aware of the power of light, and all that it allows, darkness is a profoundly potent word. It speaks of all that is hard to understand within nature, the infinite space of the universe, the energy of the night, of winter, of death, of decay and entropy. There are here no connotations of negativity; darkness is that which necessarily balances and embraces light. It contains those aspects of nature that are not known or not knowable, the void and the density, the mysteries beyond current comprehension. The word expresses all that could happen; in the poetry of Paganism, it is the cauldron of potential, the womb of rebirth, the rich mud in which the seed germinates.

– Emma Restall Orr, Living With Honour: A Pagan Ethics, ch. 2

Friday Finds : Hella items Samhain special

I’m resurrecting Friday Finds, since I haven’t done one for a while. Here are some of my favourite Hella items available on Etsy at the moment:

Hella statue

Hella Statue by L’Artefatto Esoterica (Italy) – https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/263238198/hel-hela-goddess-s-statuette

Hella statue 2

by PantheonSkulptur (Sweden) – https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/523462209/hel-handmade-gilded-statue-steel-finish  –  I personally can attest to the quality of these – I have a gold Hella from PantheonSkulptur

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Autumn Equinox 2017 – Shadow Integration Invocation/ poem

The Autumn Equinox is a time when day and night are of equal length, and this can be a perfect time to work with the Shadow to bring about integration. There are gifts in Shadow work – abilities and parts of our Self we’ve pushed down and that need to be recognised and brought out into the world. Likewise, some people who focus all on the Light can ‘bypass’ their true emotions to try and be more ‘spiritual’.
As with the Equinox, a healthy balance and coming together of both Shadow and Light is needed to integrate and become more whole. Even naming them as such is using the Duality terminology. When integrated a person is more whole, and things less black and white, cut and dry. Balance is achieved by living through an integrated Self, one that values authenticity, integrity and understanding.

This poem/ invocation can be used in your own Equinox celebrations to help with Shadow integration. I will point out that Shadow work is an ongoing process and is not something that can be done in an afternoon. It is something that takes time, patience and dedication, but this invocation may well help to integrate the parts of your Shadow that you have already identified and worked with. Shadow work has many lessons to teach us, but unless you actually integrate those Shadows and actively live their lessons they remain an unfulfilled potential.

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THIRD TIME LUCKY! Despacho-type ceremony to thank the house & garden Spirits at our old home

(The first time this went live before I managed to add the pictures, so I drafted it but WP seemed to have glitched – thanks Mercury Retrograde – and went live again. So it’s FINALLY rescheduled with the photos)

Despacho pics_01_01_Intro

We moved house on 6th July. We left the home and garden that nurtured and nourished us for almost 14 years. If we could pick them up and move them closer to the new area we would have, but we could no longer stay. As so often in life, there are times when what we’ve known and loved leads to stagnation, and opportunities for growth need to be taken.

We’ve moved to a different area of the county, one closer to the main city. We need the opportunities it provides, the better transport links, the better and more varied health and wellbeing facilities, and more groups so we can experience more of life again. While the area we had been living in for the past 20 years has some beautiful countryside it is a deadzone when it comes to opportunities for me and my parents’ growth.

The house and garden we left had looked after us well, and I’ll miss our lovely Elders, Hawthorns and Blackthorns. To thank them all I did a Despacho-type ceremony on one of the few dry days of our last week here. I used some pink handmade fair trade paper to represent the love and appreciation my parents and I feel.

The flowers were all from the garden, and I also added some dried Rose petals and Lavender. As is customary I also added lots of sugar, and some mini pretzels to represent never-ending memories.
Mum also came to see it, and added some pieces of Lavender and more sugar.
Afterwards I meditated with the Despacho for a while, then wrapped it up and buried it behind the Plum tree. I offered some potato vodka and the rest of the pretzels.

Here are some photos:
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Beltane Fires ‘Release’ Ideas

At Beltane cattle were often herded between two fires to cleanse them. It’s also believed the heat killed off the insects, and that the cattle were blessed by the process.

One way we could take advantage of this custom ourselves is to do a meditation asking a particular God or Goddess to safely surround and suffuse you with Their flames. You can ask for help to cleanse any negativity or release any ties that you need to let go of. Deities aren’t limited to the way Their energies and healing can work, but they may have a particular speciality you can call upon.
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Earth Day – vows

I found this beautiful vow while reading ‘Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy’ by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnston. I thought they would make a lovely reflection for Earth Day. The vows are written by Joanna, and are shared here with her permission.

I vow to myself and to each of you:
To commit myself daily to the healing of our world and the welfare of all beings.
To live on Earth more lightly and less violently in the food, products and energy I consume.
To draw strength and guidance from the living Earth, the ancestors, the future generations, and my brothers and sisters of all species.
To support others in our work for the world and to ask for help when I need it.
To pursue a daily practice that clarifies my mind, strengths my heart, and supports me in observing these vows.

You can find out more about Joanna and her ecology work here: http://www.joannamacy.net/aboutjoannamacy.html

‘Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy’ by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnston.
Amazon UK link:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Active-Hope-without-Going-Crazy/dp/1577319729

Amazon US link: https://www.amazon.com/Active-Hope-without-Going-Crazy-ebook/dp/B007C8K79C

You can find out more about Earth Day here: http://www.earthday.org/about/

Poem for the New Lunar Year

Welcome,
Lunar year anew.
Another cycle,
Guide us through.

Wax and wane,
Ebb and flow,
Building up
And letting go.

Bright light shining,
Blinding orb,
Lost from view,
Dark absorb.

Moon:
Maiden, Mother, Crone,
Teaching us
We’re not alone.

Guiding light,
Dark remain,
Always changing,
Never same.

Seed, Flower,
Winter-bloom,
Dark and empty,
Budding womb.

Light and dark,
Dark and light,
Changing ever
Every night.

Dark Goddess,
Virgin, lover,
Hag, naive girl,
Mother.

Moon:
How we watch you grow,
Your tides, your gentle
Ebb and flow.

Welcome,
Lunar year anew.
Lead us, Mother,
Guide us through.

 

Copyright: Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk 2017

Friday Finds – Brighid for Imbolc 2017

I thought a feature on some Brighid items would tie in nicely with Imbolc on the 1st February. With thanks to the artists for allowing me to add their wonderful creations to my Imbolc 2017 ‘Friday Finds’.
Click on the picture or the item description to go to the item’s Etsy page. Click on the creator’s name to be taken to their Etsy shop.

Something traditional:

Brighid’s Cross Wheat Weaving by BlueMoonWheatWorks (USA)wheat-brighids-cross_bluemoonwheatworks

Brighid Corn Doll by Positively Pagan (England, UK)brighid-corn-doll_positivelypagan

Something for gardens and gatherings:

Brighid’s Cross garden flag by MickieMuellerStudio (USA)

Something for your altar or sacred space:

Brighid Triple Goddess needle felt doll by celticsoulcraft (USA) Continue reading